by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
The above words are taken from the letter Christ told John to write to the church at Smyrna. He represents himself as the First and the Last, and as the One who was dead, but is alive. He knew all about the condition of this church; He knew her works. He also knew her tribulation because of persecution; and He knew her poverty. Perhaps they were poor, because of the plundering of their property; but they were rich in spiritual possessions, which the enemies could not take from them. But there were those who claimed to be Jews, the people of God, but they were not, but were the synagogue of Satan. We can imagine how they would harass and ill treat the true children of God. And furthermore, the devil cast some of them into prison. No doubt he used evil men to accomplish this work. And the Lord told them that they would have still more tribulation for a short time. By this tribulation He would put their faith to the test, as God often does; as, for example, that of Job, or that of Abraham. But He also gives them encouragement and comfort. He says, "Fear none of those things, which thou shalt suffer;" and, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." If they would persevere in the faith, even if it meant a martyr's death, they should receive the crown of life. Praise God.
Most merciful God, we thank Thee that we know that Thou hast regard unto us, Thy children. Thou knowest the condition of our hearts; Thou also knowest the outward circumstances of our lives, and Thou knowest the dangers that threaten us, and the tribulations we shall have to endure. Thou dost not only know these things; but Thou dost control them, and Thou makest all things to work together for our salvation. Help us to believe and to trust and be faithful unto death. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Heb. 10:34; Rev 2:10.
Click here for background on Light and Comfort and the author.